Menter Môn wary on the continued ERDF funding

Menter Môn, the third-party manager for the Morlais tidal energy project, has expressed concerns regarding the continued financial support for tidal energy developments off Anglesey from the European Union’s institutions following the Brexit outcome.

Namely, Menter Môn is looking at receiving financial support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for the development of Morlais Tidal Energy Demonstration Zone off Wales, which is half way through the application process, BBC reports.

“We are concerned but hopeful that the £18 million of ERDF infrastructure funding is forthcoming. Holyhead needs it and Anglesey needs it. The developers are also seeking EU support for their own costs. However, what is out of control is the level of uncertainty and the willingness of developers to invest in the post Brexit UK. They may favour Canada or France,” Dafydd Gruffydd, Menter Môn Business Director said for BBC.

To remind, Menter Môn recently hired Royal HaskoningDHV and MarineSpace to conduct environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the project which has already attracted the attention of 12 developers who are bidding for the space within the demonstration zone.

The West Anglesey Demonstration Zone has been designated by the Crown Estate for the development of up to ten renewable tidal power installations with a total cumulative production capacity of 120 MW.

Following the yesterday’s meeting of the Welsh Cabinet to discuss the outcome of the EU referendum, Wales’ First Minister, Carwyn Jones, wrote to the UK Prime Minister asking for confirmation that every penny of EU funding for Wales is safe.

Carwyn Jones said: “One of the most immediate concerns facing us as a government is the future of around half a billion pounds a year which Wales currently receives from the EU to support our farming industry and to bring greater prosperity to some of our most deprived communities.

“During the referendum campaign, the Leave side made cast iron promises that this money would continue to come to Wales in the event of a vote to leave the EU. I have today written to the Prime Minister asking him to confirm that every penny of this funding is safe.

“We require this funding assurance immediately, as there are hundreds of vital EU-funded projects right across Wales whose future is now in the balance unless that funding guarantee is given.”

Through the EU Structural Funds, some £710 million through the 2014-2020 programmes have been invested in Wales, driving a total investment of over £1.4 billion so far, according to the Welsh government.

Some of the marine renewable energy projects that have received the funding include Minesto’s Deep Green in Anglesey, Marine Power Systems’ WaveSub in Pembrokeshire. Also, one of the beneficiaries of EU funds is the Menai Science Park (M-SParc) in Anglesey that aims to encourage collaborations with research organisations on innovative projects and create employment opportunities for north-west Wales.

As reported earlier, Minesto stated that the Brexit results would not affect Minesto’s EU project to demonstrate the first full-scale device of its subsea tidal kite technology known as Deep Green.

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